The Legitimacy and Sovereignty Dilemma of African States and Governments: Problems of the Colonial Legacy

  • Cirino Hiteng Ofuho


Over the years since African states gained their independence, scholars interested in African affairs have produced a remarkable outpouring of scholarly research on African politics, though it is tied mainly to paradigms of development.1 However, decades of preoccupation with development has yielded meagre returns, and African economies have been stagnating or regressing. Many factors have been offered to explain the apparent failure of development enterprise in Africa, and most of these explanations have been labelled as negative consequences of the colonial legacy. These include social pluralism and its centrifugal tendencies; the corruption of leaders; poor labour discipline; the lack of entrepreneurial skills; poor planning and incompetent management; inappropriate policies; the restriction of market mechanisms; low levels of technical assistance; the limited inflow of foreign capital; falling commodity prices, and unfavourable terms of trade; and low levels of saving and investment.2 These negative features have become major problems for the African continent, and a number of African scholars and Africanists alike have been quick to blame them on either the colonial superstructure or the post-colonial African political order. Thus a sustained polarisation in debate has resulted. There are scholars who have argued that the readily made assumption about the failure of development in Africa is misleading.


International Relation African State World Politics Colonial Rule Peace Treaty 
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Notes and References

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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cirino Hiteng Ofuho

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